Sunday, 25 January 2009

Jean Muir Exhibition

I visited the Jean Muir Exhibition which is on at the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers St Edinburgh until March this year. The collection is stunning and well worth a visit for anyone with an interest in clothing. There are about 40 outfits on display, for me the most outstanding were the dark crepe dresses which unfortunately do not photograph well, but standing next to one the quality of the fabric and the drape and purity of line are breath-taking. My favourite pieces are a navy dress from 1972, with buttons at the front and pin-tucks which was just lovely. I was also very taken by a floor-length belted dress with contrast stiching at the neck.
It was poignant to see records of requisitions for fabric from mills in Scotland, long since gone and samples of the fabric dyes used in her clothes.
Miss Muir also was highly influential as knitwear designer and although some of the examples in the exhibition are 80's intarsia and thus on the far horizon of what is currently popular the quality of the workmanship is still admirable. I also loved the small selection of designs she produced for the Jane and Jane label in the 1960s including a Paisley Print dress trimmed with feather boa which is a design I've actually dreamed about before,pure B-52s glamour.
I'm happy to report that the exhibition also features something for us aliens too. A navy crepe cape tied with a pussy bow is captioned with the info that "Miss Muir designed for all shapes and sizes" I'd be very happy to wear this or just about anything else from the collection.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Alien Icons -part 2

Adele is a young, pretty singer-songwriter whom I think dresses very well. Clearly she is larger than the norm for girly pop stars but it that does not seem to be such a big deal for her or most anyone who likes her. This a novelty in itself when Cheryl Cole and Amy Winehouse both seem ready to snap under the weight of their own hair. Adele tends to wear dark colours, a lot of layers and knitted items. A lot like the way I and a lot of fat girls dress, but also there is quality of playfulness in her clothes and grooming that I admire. I particularly like the way she upsweeps her hair in a sideways bun and wears a nice even line of black eyeliner which is a creates an uncluttered look which is just retro enough to suit her music.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Alien Icons

I haven't bought much over Christmas and New Year. Mostly my splurging has been on yarn, most notably a Perl Gray kit to make this lovely bucket hat bought in the sale from Purlescence which has lots of gorgeous things, many currently on sale.

So in this spending lull I've been thinking about whose style I really admire and who actually influences the way that I dress.

One of my other Christmas Treats was a box set of the 4th series of Boston Legal. For the unintiated this is a marvellously anarchic and witty US prime time legal series starring two long-time heroes William Shatner and James Spader who spar beautifully in their leading roles. However as the series went on I realised that one of the things I looked forward to the most was to see what Candice Bergen, who plays Senior Partner Shirley Schmidt, was wearing in each scene. Bergen is a beautiful woman and as she eases into her sixties she has developed a distinctive style which is based around wearing dark suits with a high open neck and the most wonderful multi-stranded chunky necklaces. There is plenty of variation in this look which can look smart and business-like and still nod towards exoticism.
So this has inspired a style resolution for me to get chunky. Further fuel for this has come from a new Bead Company Shop which has opened in Glasgow's west end and has an exceptional range of the most gorgeous beads and stones imaginable.